From the recently founded Animus Distillery comes a range of gins that are absolutely world class.
Based in Kyneton, Central Victoria, the operation has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings in a garage in Fitzroy.
All of the gins produced are crafted by hand with high-grade ingredients, many of which come from the small botanic farm in the grounds of the distillery. The swathe of awards that these guys have picked up in just four short years, speaks to the quality and consistency that they have been able to achieve.
For the Arboretum Gin, they take a core of classic gin ingredients - juniper, cardamom, angelica root etc. - and add an array of Australian native botanicals, such as bush tomato, strawberry gum leaf, and lemon myrtle, to name a few.
It's an exciting, modern gin, with incredible complexity and flavour.
A complex herbaceous gin utilising a range of local estate-grown ingredients: Fresh strawberry gum leaf, lemon thyme, rosemary, oranges and native bush tomato support the classic gin notes of bold juniper, coriander seed, and citrus, with a long, spicy balanced finish.
Animus was founded in 2015 by a group of whisky lovers (Luke Jacques, Joel Wilson, Rob Turner and Aaron Robinson), who decided to produce gin while waiting for their whisky to mature in barrel. This Kyneton-based distillery initially began working out of a Fitzroy North garage. Thanks to the quality of their early gin releases, the operation quickly outgrew this space and has now relocated to a larger rural property where they have been able to establish their own botanical garden.
For their base, Animus take the highest grade, 100% Australian grain spirit and triple filter it using a custom built, gravity-fed, carbon filter system. This provides an extremely pure, neutral spirit for their distillation. A number of the botanicals, such as Strawberry Gum leaf, lemon thyme, lemon, myrtle, Kaffir lime leaf and rosemary, come from their own garden and these gin gardeners are currently at work growing a variety of citrus trees. From the purchased botanicals, the focus remains on a high proportion of fresh ingredients – all kinds of citrus and fresh roots.
From here, the botanicals are distilled using only the ‘vapour press’ method, where the ingredients infuse outside of the boiling liquid, in a botanical basket set in the vapour chamber above the still’s 50 litre pot. Capturing the cleanest, purest flavour possible is central to Animus’ philosophy, and this is one of the keys to understanding the level of freshness, brightness and detail they manage to instil in each of their gins. Further, the spirits are produced in small batches, with the botanical basket recharged after every few litres in order to extract only the most vibrant, intense aromas and flavours of the native and international ingredients. This all makes for an incredibly demanding, time consuming and expensive way to make gin but the proof is in the glass.
All of Animus’ gins are bottled at 50% abv. After much trial and error, the distillers found it was at this 100-proof that the gins really hit the sweet spot – showing lifted perfume, pristine flavours, creamy texture and integrated spirit.
Trophy for Best Small Batch Spirit - Australian Distilled Spirit Awards 2018 Gold Medal - American Distilling Institute Awards 2018 Gold Medal - Melbourne International Spirit Competition 2017